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In the Forum: Analog Playback
In the Thread: The Foolishness of Analog People
Post Subject: The wrapping up to the Micro Seiki SX-8000 vs. SZ-1 debatePosted by Romy the Cat on: 7/17/2009

I usually do not do the Audiogon posting. There are too many idiots in there and they are under too much protection of the douchebags that run that site. Not to mention that I well remember WHY I was “banned” from Audiogon to begin with:

Still, I was attracted to subject that some Audiogon posted touched, so I decided to play alone. Eventually it turned into the typical Audiogon BS with simpletons craving for imperative recommendations. According to Audiogon business model it had to follow with an army of audio pimps and “advisers”. I am not a vulture and I will let whoever enjoy it to participate….

However, yesterday I posted an extended wrapping up to that Audiogon subject that Audiogon douchebags deleted. I have no idea why, probably if I send them Micro 5000 as an admission gift or show to them a tattoo on my ass with audio reselling license than they would not vandalize my post. Anyhow, as the respect to the time I invest to type it I reposted it here. This is my conclusion post that was deleted from the end of second page of the following thread:

Right before I said: “I have written today a large conclusive post and posted it, withdrawing myself from this thread. For whatever reasons the post disappeared. I saved it and I will rep-post in at my site as I think it does a good conclusion for this whole thread.”


To answering the Thuchan’s initial question about the differences between the SZ-1 and SX-8000 and to finish my enrolment in this thread…

The SZ-1 is not a Micro-Seiki flagship. It was flagman before Micro-Seiki stated to do 8000, so most of the SZ-1s were made before Micro begun to make 8000 model. The SZ-1, if you fins it will be old very old. Micro is gone in may 2001 and up to the spring 2001 they made (in one way or another) 8000/II, so with the best luck you can fish a TT that will be 10-15 year old and catch the TT from Micro production of 90s. The SZ-1 is very much an assurance that it is production from 70s or beginning of 80s. It might not be so bad but it is 30-40 years old TT with all following consequences.

Micro SZ-1 has air-suspended motor and the motor has a small gyroscope on it. It is probably good design-wise but I am a bit defensive to accept that it has a lot of actual impact to sound. I drove 8000 with variety of different motors, including adding to original 8000 motor a custom-made mushroom-shape axis-extender that created a very good flywheel/gyroscope effect on the motor. With all honesty, even if I could recognize some differences but they were not worthy attention. If you load your cartridge with let say with 75R then can you recognize the change to 72R? Well, we probably can (not blindly) but can you correlate it with change of VTA to .2 degree? If you say that you can then I would challenge you honesty and sincerity.

One interesting moment about the SZ-1 vs. 8000 debate might be around the urban legend that suggested that Micro use in SZ-1 a “straight” motor but later in 5000 and 8000 models they went for active start motors. The idea was to let the motors for a first 5 second of TT start to run at high voltage to give an initial momentum to a stationary platter. The notion is cool but after seeing quite a few 5000 and 8000 I did not find this behavior. Opening and 5000 and 8000 motors I also did not see anything that would be responsible for it. Also, with all honesty - what is the difference? If you TT would reach a cruse speed for 15 second or for 25 second? One might say that one approach is better for motor bearing then another but come on people, let have some perspective to it – you will die sooner than the damn TT motor will wear out! So, who cares!

I never had SZ-1 but I know 3 people who dose. I heard the SZ-1 but I would not make comments about it sound in contest to 8000. I would not accept the comment of the SZ-1 owners what they think about the SZ-1 sound vs. the 8000. The reason for it is because I know in my personal experience that it is immensely difficult to methodologically correct and intellectually honestly to compare the sound of two turntables if both of them are made more or less properly. Tolstoy use to say the bad marriages are all different but the good one all the same. There is a lot of truth in it in audio. I have an interesting experience about it last year. People who know me know that I am a big FM enthusiast and I had a killer tuner that under proper use delivered the best FM result possible.  Then I brought another “best tuner”, mane by completely different topology, culture, coals and period. That another best tuner, appropriately properly used for own topology delivered absolutely identical “best FM result possible”. So, all roads lead to Roma and I think that it is very much with TT. At the level of Micro 8000 or SZ-1 (conditionally 5000 of you know what you do) you are way beyond the point where your TT is the weakest element of your chain. If you wish to play more with analog improvement then play with other analog aspects and live the TT alone. The whole beauty of the large Micros that they are just a based platform that set a sets a default sound, certain pedal-point of analog performance and you can shape something above this base but you do not go below the pedal-point.

So, me the debate about SZ-1 vs. 8000 is mostly a debate about ergonomics and nothing else. As the result of this thread I did get the message about the accused benefits of extra flywheel for 8000. In my past I learned that it was not true. Still, if you insist I might give it one more try and if the circumstance will come I might try it evaluate the subject again. Still I would not actively peruse it as I did in past. In fact most likely, since I sold my flywheel unit,  I might not do it and will die in complete analog ignorance… Probably if someone will bring a good flywheel to me I might put it on use, otherwise it will be as is: with no bass, collapsed soundstage, with no inner-details and a lot of background noise… :-)

The caT

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